Democratic Consolidation

Bosnia is no model for Ukrainian peace

An unfortunate narrative has captured the discourse on the crisis in Ukraine, as political solutions to end the conflict and Russian incursion are sought. Many commentators have ruminated that a ‘Dayton-style solution’ or the ‘Bosnian model’ be implemented in Ukraine as a means to end the violence and embrace decentralized, regional based federalism where Kiev could not impose their will on the ethnic Russians in the east, while maintaining a still ostensibly unified Ukrainian state.

On paper, a Dayton-style...

More than a game? Again? On the seemingly perpetual football-related violence in the Balkans

Over the past twenty-five years academic scholarship, as well as journalistic accounts of varying degrees of quality, have focused on Balkan football fan cultures almost exclusively in terms of their violent, homophobic and nationalist behavior, their involvement in paramilitary formations that committed war-crimes during the Yugoslav Wars and their interconnection with various...

Elections in Bosnia—Business as usual?

The Bosnian elections last Sunday brought change, but it seems unlikely that they will make a difference. There is no clear heading under which the election results can be summarized. The return of nationalist does it little justice. First, the Party of Democratic Action, the main national Bosniak party, won a clear victory in the Federation, becoming the largest party in every single canton with a Bosniak majority. In all Croat dominated cantons, HDZ became the largest party. In addition, both parties won the respective seats in the Bosnian presidency. However, this result is less a...

Bosnia-Herzegovina Post-Election Review: Fleeting Victories Abound

A complete analysis of the BiH elections will only be possible once the full results of the polls are known in the coming days. Nevertheless, it is possible at this juncture to offer some preliminary thoughts which can guide our observations of the events to come.

To begin with, with a marginally worse figure than in 2010, turnout continues to be a major problem in BiH elections. The reasons for this are multifaceted, as a recent study concluded, but are certainly in large part...

Media freedom in Serbia criticized in the EU Progress Report

The European Commission has published its annual Progress Report on Serbia today. As expected, the newest report has praised the countries’ efforts on the implementation of the agreement on normalization of relations with Kosovo, and the overall advancement in European integrations manifested in the official opening of the accession negotiations. The ruling parties in Serbia immediately did their best to...

Surviving the Belgrade Pride Parade

Last weekend Serbia’s LGBTI community appeared in public space, manifesting its existence and, more importantly, gentleness. Just to recapitulate, the attempt to stage the first parade in Serbia in 2001 was a disaster, dominated by a bloody confrontation between the police force and counter-protesters (supported by the Serbian Orthodox Church), with numerous participants seriously injured. Later (and a year after the cancellation of the 2009 pride gathering), Serbia once again left an impression of a place incapable of tolerating...

Where have all the fascists gone? Belgrade Pride 2014

Entering the Belgrade Pride Parade through the cordon sanitaire from the direction of the main train station, everything seemed to eerily resemble the last Pride held in October 2010 when the city was attacked by around 7,000 hooligans who wounded over 100 police and civilians. This year however, the worst injuries Belgrade Pride participants sustained was perhaps mild sunburn as they walked up Knez Miloš street from the Government of Serbia to the Belgrade City Parliament in sunny autumn weather.

One of the...

How to “regulate” politics in Bosnia?

One of the recommendations on a large list of possible actions to re-energize the EU integration process in the Western Balkans, which was presented in a policy paper recently published by the BiEPAG group, is more active engagement on the EU in resolving remaining bilateral disputes in the Western Balkans. In the case of Bosnia, this recommendation could be extended to the internal disputes in the country. Some of the reasons are explained below.

...

Why Montenegro has decided to stand up to Russia

Two years ago, the former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, saved the day (and helped to resolve an inconclusive discussion at the Chicago summit on this subject) by making a public pledge that the next NATO summit will be about enlargement.  In the meantime, NATO’s open-door policy had slipped down the priority list, and the Ukrainian crisis sparked a fundamental rethinking of European security considerations.

Currently, there is only one real candidate for membership at the September 2014 summit in Wales – Montenegro. As for the other Balkan aspirants,...

Europe Day in Sarajevo

On Europe Day, the Bosnian capital celebrated the opening of its famous Vijećnica city hall and library, as the rebirth of a symbol of confluence between civilizations in the heart of the city. Two decades after the destruction of the Vijećnica, during the Siege of Sarajevo, the synthesis of Austrian and Moorish, nineteenth-century, architectural styles of this distinctive building, once again, colorfully represent the multicultural heritage of the city of Sarajevo. The Vijećnica has been under reconstruction from 1996 until this year, in four phases that were all financed by the European...

Pages